Influence of conservation interventions by Mikoko Pamoja project on the socioeconomic wellbeing of local communities living in Gazi Bay, kwale county, Kenya
Nyamasege, Ruth Moraa
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The mangrove ecosystem is an important resource that is able to provide the local people with income and worldwide with ecosystem services. But without sustainable management this ecosystem can be easily degraded and not provide all these benefits. The Mikoko pamoja is a project that tries to provide this management and rehabilitation interventions to this ecosystem. This study sought to provide empirical evidence on the influence of conservation interventions on different focal areas of human wellbeing of local communities involved in the Mikoko Pamoja project in Gazi Bay, Kwale County. Specifically the objectives of the study were to: (i)assess how the income generated from the sale of carbon credits influences the wellbeing of the households, (ii) analyse the influence of other mangrove related income generating activities (bee-keeping and eco-tourism) on the wellbeing of households, (iii) assess the influence of benefits obtained from the restoration of degraded and denuded mangrove ecosystems (increased fish stocks and clean environment) on the wellbeing of households, (iv) analyse how development projects (schools, roads and hospitals) implemented from the community development fund influence the wellbeing of the households, (v) Determine the ranking of the of Mikoko pamoja conservation activities in terms of alleviating the wellbeing of the project members. A sample of 327 households involved in the project were selected using stratified random sampling. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data using SPSS version 26. The average wellbeing of the household was found to be 4.12 (on a scale of 1 to 10). The wellbeing of the households participating in the project was found to be statistically (p < 0.05) significantly influenced by: sale of carbon credits (β=0.858, t=30.08, p < 0.001), mangrove related incomes (beekeeping and ecotourism) β= 0.820, t=25.85, p < 0.001, mangrove restoration benefits (β=0.874, t=32.46, p < .0.001) and access to community development projects (β=0.842, t-28.12, p < 0.001). In ranking the influence of independent factors on the dependent variable mangrove restoration was ranked highly due to its provision of other benefits such as fishing, income and ecosystem services that are sustainable. The findings of this study will go to inform future strategy development for Mikoko Pamoja project implementers and further policy formulation for conservation initiatives in Kenya to ensure they positively influence the wellbeing of their host communities.
Africa Nazarene University